Take a moonshine ride with GSMR

Mar 27, 2014

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) presents a brand new way to “shine and dine” on the railway. The public is invited to hop on board The Carolina Shine, GSMR’s All-Adult First Class Moonshine Car. Guests will be served the hand-crafted, triple-distilled, Midnight Moon moonshine, the smoothest tasting moonshine in the Carolinas.

Operating May 23 through Oct. 31 on the Nantahala Gorge excursion, this shine and dine experience begins in a renovated First Class train fleet car, The Carolina Shine. The brand new interior design features copper-lined walls filled with the history of moonshining in North Carolina. Learn about the proud tradition that the Appalachians established when bootlegging was an acceptable way of life and local home brews were the best in town. Read about Swain County’s very own Major Redman, the most famous mountain moonshine outlaw of the 19th century. Enjoy sample tastings of famous NASCAR legend Junior Johnsons's Midnight Moon family of spirits. Featuring Apple Pie, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberry and Strawberry moonshine. If the samples are not enough, there will be plenty of moonshine infused cocktails like Copper Cola or Moonshiner’s Mimosa available for purchase.

Passengers will also enjoy a full service All-Adult First Class ride with a private attendant serving GSMR’s freshly cooked BBQ, accompanied with a side of country-fried apples, coleslaw and three savory BBQ sauces to select from at the fixings bar. The meal will begin with a sweet honey-butter cornbread slice and end with a delicious piece of Moonshiners Mud Chocolate Pie. Riders will also receive their very own Carolina Shine mason-drinking jar, refillable with soda beverages and tea throughout the day, a Midnight Moon official mason jar shot glass, and a souvenir GSMR tote bag (one per party).

Tickets are $98 for adults (21+) May through Sept., and $104 for adults (21+) during the month of October.

For more information and reservations, call 800-872-4681 or visit WWW.GSMR.COM.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Mar 27, 2014 18:03

This sounds great! Wat a way to embrace our heritage and promote it as a tourist attraction. I making reservations on the first day the Carolina Shine operates.

Too bad the tourism folks in Haywood County refuse to embrace moon shining as a part of our heritage. It's is becoming a big business for 'Shine tourism they continue to ignore.

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 27, 2014 18:42

Case #1: While in New York City a few months ago, in a business meeting I told someone where I was from.  They asked me if I knew Popcorn Sutton.  Frankly, I didn't know anything about him -- but I followed up with a little gift from our neck of the woods after I was introduced to the video about him.


Case #2: While in California at an after-hours event last week, someone mentioned they have a distilling hobby complete with a 700-pound copper distillery in their basement able to produce some legal amount of spirits.  (I think they said 1 gallon)  When he heard I was from the mountains of NC, the first thing he asked was about moonshine.  (I sent him the YouTube link about Popcorn Sutton!)


Oddly, I've never had anyone out of town ask me about Folkmoot or the Mountain Street Dances -- as awesome a local attraction they are.  Some do know about the Biltmore House -- but you just can't build one of those with TDA money.  ;-)


Yeah, it's mostly a Baptist thing not to enjoy alcohol.  I respect that.  In my opinion the moonshine thing has added flair when it's still considered "taboo".


I've been wanting to do the GSMR thing for a while.  Can someone say if the people that own the GSMR are the same who used to own GhostTown?

Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Mar 28, 2014 00:37

You will enjoy the railroad experience. My family and friends take at least one trip each year. Last year we planned our trip to coincide with a birthday party and rented the caboose. It's always a fun way to spend a few hours.

I believe Mr. Harper was an investor in the resurrection of GhostTown in 2007 but he is not an investor at the current time. Ms. Alaska Pressley is the owner of the park right now. I spoke to her last Wednesday and she told me her crew is working hard to get the park open in time for Memorial Day weekend.

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